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50 children reportedly lost to strange disease

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A strange illness has taken the lives of 50 children, while 40 others were hospitalized in Gidan Dugus village of Wangara district, Dutse Local Government of Jigawa State.

Investigations revealed that the children under the age of five, are dying on daily basis as a result of high fever, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea and shortage of blood.

A visit to Gidan Dugus village revealed that parents of the deceased children were mourning the death of their loved ones, while those whose children were affected are living in fear due to their worsening health condition. One of the parents who lost his seven children to the strange illness, Haladu Usman, said: “Within 14 days, I lost seven of my children, three males, and four female. The children, aged between three and one and infant, died one after the other, I lost three in a day.”

Another parent, Salisu Abdullahi, said he lost four of his children in one week, despite several efforts made to secure medication from nearby clinics. “I was scared by this unknown sickness which consumed the lives of innocent children of this community,” he said.

Also speaking, the ward head of Gidan Dugus, Mallam Umar Dashiru, said what had happened was alarming and pathetic, noting that the community now lives in fears and agony of seeing its children die in numbers.

He explained that they reported the case to the state government which sent a team of medical personnel to take blood samples of some children for test, adding that results of the test were being awaited.

Contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Ali Garba Dandidi, confirmed the incident but faulted the community for not informing the ministry in good time. He said the ministry immediately deployed its personnel to the area with preventive measures as soon as it received reports of the incident in October.

Dandidi explained that the ministry received a report of 35 deaths from different households, stressing test of the blood sample collected identified malaria fever as the strange illness.

He attributed the incident to failure of the people to patronise health institutions in the area, but rather purchase medicines from patent stores or drug vendors.